A Fear of Whales

A Fear of Whales


The Centrality of Grace

posted by rgaffney

It's a pun. Get it?I have a big list of blog ideas.

When I get an idea for a blog, I put it on the list. When I get time to write a blog, I open a list and write a page about the idea. Usually I add in some analogy to illustrate it or some argument for it’s truth if it’s controversial. Then I steak a picture and call it a day

I’ve had one on that list practically since I started it. It’s for a series about “What exactly I believe”

See I understand that on this blog or in conversation, I talk more about what I don’t believe, or what I’m thinking about believing, rather than what I actually think is the case. And I’m not being evasive, I just think that’s more interesting. So I think it would be advantageous for posterity to have a series of articles about what exactly I think about Jesus, about the bible, about church.

It’s been years. I haven’t written that series. It would be long, and I wouldn’t know what all to include. But I still feel like I owe you, my audience, something of my credo. Just how liberal am I anyway? Versus just how far am I willing to take this radical Christian “thang”? Well here’s what I can offer.

If everything I believe took the form of a big ball. A Katamari of Christendom, with my tentatively held doctrines near the outside, and most important beliefs near the middle, the very center, the creedal core, would be grace.

The extent to which a belief or practice is important to me corresponds to how connected it is to grace. The doctrines that are escaping to the outside, are those that conflict with it.

I believe that you and I and everyone are and should be the recipients of unmerited favor, from god and everyone else. And I believe in believing that. I believe you should believe that.

I believe grace before I believe evidence. I believe it before salvation, I even believe it before I believe the historical death and resurrection of Jesus.

That’s my blend. That’s how I’m able to stay so interested in Social Justice, and Equality, and interesting things form other religions or the secular world. That’s how I’m a leader in both a Presbyterian and a Baptist church. And still not fall off the cliff of anything goes and everything’s a metaphor.

Hate doesn’t go. Lies don’t go. Subjugation, and superiority, and guilt, and indifference can’t come into the CredoBall because the CredoBall is made of things that are tied to things that are tied to grace. Things like Love, and Truth, and service, forgiveness, passion and Jesus Christ crucified.



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